Monday, June 17, 2013

What Happens when You Leave the Boat and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

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Photo courtesy of Nanette Harper, used with permission

There are a lot of unknowns in this life.  And sometimes, even things we think are safe can have unintended consequences or some hairpin turns on this journey we are on.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think having kids could be such a (sometimes) scary adventure.  If I knew how crazy it would be -- how much it would change me, or perhaps how much I would have to change so to be the mom they would need me to be -- would I have been so looking forward to becoming pregnant and raising a family?

Had I known, I would have been paralyzed, constantly weighing the pros and cons, my strengths and weaknesses.

Instead, Craig and I were blissfully ignorant.  We jumped in headfirst.  And we've never looked back.  Despite the unknown hiccups and trials, it is clear these children were destined for us, and we for them.  It seems to take a miracle to raise kids these days, but here we are, walking on water.

Don't worry.  Sometimes we doubt and start to drown (more me, my husband is much better about being even keel about things), but there is Jesus, with His hand outstretched, reminding me I cannot do this on my own and He is there to catch me.

Thank God for Jesus.  Mighty sure Peter felt that same way after he took the risk and left the boat.

Peter was asking Jesus to prove Himself to be God (and maybe even prove to Peter that walking with Jesus made him different somehow) and when Jesus responded, Peter didn't have time to second guess his own question.

Sometimes we ask God to prove Himself to us -- His power, His word, His love -- and then when He does, we respond.

We respond without realizing what we are doing until there we are doing it.  And all of the sudden, we think how could this be happening, and it's like we forget what we asked in the first place.

Next week, I'm heading back to Speak Up!, but this time as a breakout session leader.  Many months ago, I felt God led me to submit a proposal (totally unasked for by the Speak Up! team) to lead a workshop about cultivating authenticity in a women's ministry.  Over and over again, I asked God to prove Himself so I would know I wasn't hearing crazy things.  And He did in many ways, the last one being they asked me to come.

I've been walking on water until now when I'm asking God these ridiculous questions, doubting what He has called me to do, and listening to silly worldly lies.  And I'm thrusting out my hands, frantically wondering Will You catch me?

And of course, we know the answer to this question.

Yes.

And I've decided even though the boat I had been in looked and felt safe at one time, I've gotten close enough to Jesus to know it's better to be scared and holding onto Him than to be in a boat tethered to nothing. 

Because if I'm not holding onto Him, there is nothing of worldly substance which can really hold me.  Not in the way I want to be held.

I'm leaving my boat.  I don't know where Jesus and I are going in this adventure (except to Michigan), but perhaps He's dealt with me enough to know that I don't do well in the driver's seat and it's just best He keeps the other destinations a secret for now.

Who is ready to leave their boat?  It's an illusion of safety.  There's no better place than out there, walking on water.

And if you get scared, He's there to hold your hand.

Linking with Michelle for Hear it On Sunday, Use it on Monday
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18 comments :

  1. Hold on and cling to Him! Moment by moment!!

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  2. You are the perfect one to lead a group on authenticity, Jen. God knew what he was doing when he asked you to get out of that boat, and you were obedient when you did so. That encourages the rest of us to get out, too. That illusion of safety IN the boat misleads me too. It is safer outside the boat; still trying to wrap my mind around that.

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  3. This reminded me of when Jenny was in high school. Her youth pastor was teaching this concept and had a boat built for the youth room.

    Enjoy speaking at the conference. You will be a blessing.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

    ps. As always, thanks for hosting.

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  4. You'll do great, but I understand the hesitation to get out of the boat. I'm wrote about a lesson in letting go I learned while roller skating with my girl recently. I'll link up tomorrow, but it's so neat to see God weave some of the same truths through different stories.

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  5. That is pretty much the perfect way to describe it all - parenting, teaching at conferences! But what an exciting adventure that God has called you to. I can't wait to meet you at Speak Up next week!

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  6. I love it - He is in the driver's seat and you'd prefer He keep the destination a secret - LOL - I hate being a passenger - it is such a TRUST issue! However, I'd driver anywhere with Him - I especially love this line: "maybe even prove to Peter that walking with Jesus made him different somehow" - and it does make us different - doesn't! Wishing you blessing at Speak Up - that women will be more authentic - more reaching in that authenticity, too!Praying for you!

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  7. I've been asked to step out of the boat many times and as I go, I quote Isaiah 41:10 :) , shaking like a leaf and always so glad when on the other side, that I went. I hope some day I can step out without the shaking!
    I know you will be great next week. Stepping out of the boat and holding HIS hand, you can't go wrong;)

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  8. I love this analogy! Definitely words of courage I needed to hear. Blessings next week!

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  9. I am excited for you as you head to Speak Up -- Carol Kent is one of my favorite authors.

    Your post totally reminded me about a book I read right before I left my job of 17 years to come to work at the college where I am serving now. It's by John Ortberg, and it's called "If You Want to Walk on Water, You've Got to Get out of the Boat." I need to find it on the book shelf and take a peek at it again... :)

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  10. Oh, the dangers of comfort. That's how we feel in the boat. Comfortable...but we miss His blessings and even His presence. Excited for you as you lead, Jen! Wish I could by a fly on the wall. I'll be praying.

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  11. So happy to be in this adventure with you, waving from the shore, shouting, "You can do it!"
    (Well, Jesus in you can do it.)

    This was such an encouragement, Jen. What a joy to read and share. Yay God!

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  12. What a beautiful post! What amazes me is that yesterday I posted a blog I wrote about 2 weeks ago using the same portion of Scripture with Peter jumping out of the boat. I love that God knew then what He would continue to confirm into my heart this morning. He is such an amazing God. He is teaching me that "The jump is a leap of faith into ALL that God has for us." http://daysnthoughts.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/a-jump-into-water/
    May He bless you & use you mightily in this endeavor. You can do it!
    Joanne

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  13. Yayyyyy! That is excellent you will be leading a session. You and those women will be blessed in ways you can't even imagine. I agree: Our boat—our personal comfort zone—is a complete illusion of safety. Thanks for the push!

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  14. Love this...and Congrats! Praying God will give you peace and the words to say as you go...proud of you for leaping and holding His hand :)

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  15. I love that you submitted a proposal to Speak Up! That is such a super demonstration of faith - in what God is calling you to do and in your own abilities. (And yes I know you are humble - but girl, you have skills!) I'm SO glad you got out of the boat and I'm going to remember your bravery and call upon it myself one day. Thank you.

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  16. Getting out of the boat... IS.SO.HARD! Yea for your courage and faith!

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  17. Congrats Jen! What beautiful words you've shared on trusting Him and getting out of the boat. I loved this..."it's better to be scared and holding onto Him than to be in a boat tethered to nothing."
    Your words always inspire and encourage.
    Thank you for hosting too.
    Blessings,
    Beth

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  18. Congratulations, Jen! You are so brave and God's timing is perfect! I'm on the edge of my boat looking over the water... :)

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